<
>

Football stressed Robert Gates more than current job

U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates had an interesting comment during a recent interview with Time Magazine about the pressures of his current job.

During the interview with Time staffer Elizabeth Rubin, Gates described the pressures of his current job of sending young men and women to war.

But as the interview concluded, Gates said those concerns are little like those he faced when he worked as Texas A&M's president from 2002-06.

"I always used to tell people that Texas A&M football caused me more stress than any job I've ever had. And they always thought I was exaggerating," Gates told Rubin.

Rubin relates that she couldn't believe Gates, but he stood by his statement.

"I asked my wife one time, 'Why is that?' And she said, 'Because you have no control.' "

Gates paused during the interview before relating how different the two jobs are.

"Here, I have a little control," Gates said.

Of course, Gates was in charge at Texas A&M during a tumultuous era in the school's athletic history. He was there for the controversial firing of R.C. Slocum, the winningest coach in school history. Gates helped hire Dennis Franchione from Alabama and saw his program struggle under his watch before he left a season before Franchione was let go after the 2007 season.

But it's still kind of unsettling for one of the most powerful men in the world, one who is familiar with the concerns of keeping this country safe and protected on a daily basis, saying that the pressures of running a Big 12 school and its football program were more vexing than his current job.